This October, Age Cymru is launching its Big Step fundraising initiative where it will invite supporters to walk, run, or cycle any part of Wales and help the charity complete the 1,047-mile circumference of Wales. As this is a virtual event people can accrue their steps or miles anywhere from the Wales Coastal Path and Offa’s Dyke Trail, to a back garden or even a treadmill. The challenge can be as big or small as people choose.
Registered participants will simply record their step totals or mileage and submit them to Age Cymru to help the charity achieve its two million steps target. Of course, as this is a fundraising event, Age Cymru is encouraging supporters to seek sponsorship to help the charity deliver core advice and friendship services.
Last year Age Cymru Advice dealt with more than 25,000 inquiries on a wide range of issues such as money and benefits, care, and rights. Money can be tight as more than 120,000 older people in Wales currently live in poverty, while it is estimated that some 80,000 households in Wales that are eligible for Pension Credit are not claiming it.
Loneliness is also a major issue for older people in Wales with 220,000 saying they have felt lonely during later life, more than 100,000 say they speak to three or fewer people a week, while 330,000 claim a few minutes of conversation would make a huge difference to their week. The charity’s volunteer-led service provides vital weekly friendship and support to older people living alone. Last year staff and volunteers made thousands of friendship calls to older people right across Wales.
Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says: “We truly believe that Wales can become an age friendly nation! I am incredibly proud of the help and support that the Age Cymru team of staff and volunteers provide to older people across Wales.
“We’re asking supporters to become part of that broader team by helping us raise funds to make sure our services continue to be there for older people when they need us most. Your support can make the difference. This is our biggest ever Wales-wide fundraising drive and it’s never been more needed. Thank you for helping us create an age friendly Wales.”